Heath Ledger

Ash Knotek/ZUMAPress.com

While excitable critics are abuzz about a possible posthumous Oscar nomination for Heath Ledger's Joker, there's a more immediate honor for the late star.

Ledger's hometown of Perth, Australia, has named an $88 million playhouse after the actor.

West Australian Premier Alan Carpenter, accompanied by Ledger's father Kim, this morning announced plans for the 575-seat Heath Ledger Theatre.

"Heath Ledger was an extremely talented actor, totally dedicated to his craft and internationally respected," Carpenter said. "Honoring his memory in this way will ensure his acting achievements will continue to inspire young [Australian] artists."

Kim Ledger was on hand for the tribute announcement, and said the Ledger family not only supported the naming decision but was quite touched by it:

"We feel so honored and intensely proud to know the government and people of West Australia are prepared to attach Heath's name to this new theater project, which will provide Perth with an outstanding venue for years to come.

"Heath was deeply committed to his personal life within the arts environment the world over and an extraordinary giver of his time, kindness and money to aspiring or struggling artists from Australia and overseas. I have no doubt he would be pleased we are accepting the attachment of his name to such a worthy theater project."

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